On the last day of the year: Sixteen thoughts about Cancer

  1. Mortality is real! I'm going to die! You're going to die! One can read about the reasons in the early chapters of Genesis and Romans 5:12, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned". The only escape from our fate is Jesus! "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10)
  2. It's better (debatably) than sudden death (say from a heart attack): 
    • It's better because one has time to meet his mortality face to face and do the Hezekiah thing: "Hezekiah wept bitterly" (2 Kings 20:1-11). 
    • It's not better for the one prepared and ready to die (my own hope is to die silently in my sleep like my mother-in-law). Every time I read about a young person dying suddenly, I think "having a cancer diagnosis is better!"
    • As an aside we (Kathee and I) were nearly t-boned at highway speed this past Summer when someone ran a red light. That was very nearly a sudden death. 
    • (The 2nd Kings passage is the famous "Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover" text.)
  3. It's been much harder than breaking my neck was 30 years ago. (I would guess this would not be the same for others who never regained some use of their limbs). Cancer feels like my body has betrayed me ... like I have a monstrous killer inside of me. See my blog post about "The Thing". The "chestburster" from Alien would be another analogy.
  4. John Piper's "Don't waste your cancer" is a very worthwhile read - even if you don't have cancer.
  5. I don't know how people undertake cancer treatments and work at the same time. Many do! I am glad to be retired and that I don't have the stresses of work!
  6. I have several dozens of cancer patients in the radiology waiting room - and I have been enriched by them. Most have a sense of humor, a zest for life, are hopeful, and want to be healed.
  7. This is a generality, but cancer patients have a greater sensitivity to spiritual things than say healthy 16 year olds. As Kathee says … "they ought to … they are facing death!"
  8. A good wife - and I have one - is an incredible source of strength! My closest support network is: my wife; my dear sister, Nancy; my brother and sister in law. I thank the Lord for them. (Also the many friends and family who pray for me!)
  9. The care givers - the nurses, the radiation techs, and the doctors - are absolutely amazing! I have not met one whom has not been compassionate and caring. My sister-in-law, Kathy, who is a retired nurse, has these traits.
  10. About sports - I actually learned this when I broke my neck (30 years ago) and was hospitalized for 3 months - it's meaningless. (I still enjoy watching!)
  11. About money: The marginal value of money once has enough to live on is zero. An extra $ 1,000,000 wouldn't enhance my life (I would give it away!).
  12. About material things: There is nothing I want! Except life! My 2002 S-10 is just fine for my ride!
  13. Every day is a gift - that's why it's called "The Present". Enjoy today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed: "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." (Hebrews 3:12-14)

  14. Someone asked me what I am learning: Here it is: "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  15. I am longing to see Jesus - to meet Him face to face. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12). "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, 'Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades'." (Revelation 1:17-18).
  16. For a long time, I've believed in the sovereignty of God as expressed in Romans 8:28, "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" and Ephesians 1:11, "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will". Cancer hasn't changed my mind!


  1. Thank you my friend. We are beginning 2018 on a journey with my wife's unmarried sister (56) wo has just been diagnosed with incurable stage 4 breast cancer that is in her lungs, bones, liver, etc. to the point where it showed up on the XRay w/out a PET scan. She has maybe months. She's ministering to us as much as we are to her. I'm forwarding this article to her. I'll call you someday when she's not here.


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